I love Wheat beers! Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of Hefeweizens. There are three basic types of Wheat beers: American Wheats, Belgium Wit biers, and German Hefes. While the first two are very enjoyable and delicious, the latter is rather unpleasant.
There are two things to keep in mind here. 1) I hate bananas with a passion. The slightest waft of one makes me gag and 2) beer review basically comes down to personal opinion and preference.
That said I’ve done my best to work past my distaste for Hefeweizens and tried to appreciate them for the style they are. I’ve adopted the mindset that while I might not enjoy the style I can still grade each beer according to what that style should tastes like. Fairly start forward.
One summer day I found a new beer on the shelf by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. I noticed that it was a Hefe and not their typical hopped up Pale or IPA center beer. Surprisingly, they did a good job of staying true to style. Swirling the bottle to rouse up the unfiltered yeast gave the beer an interesting haze and delicate white head. There were hints of banana (gag), clove, apples, and bread. This is basically the byproduct of flavors produced by the yeast as it ferments. One often takes a small first sip to test the waters, but I found that this could be a gulping beer. It goes down easy and has a very light body and mouthfeel. There are hints of harvested wheat and nicely balanced fruity overtones. The aftertaste has a nice grainy, bready flavor and the hop notes are low to moderate. I was very impressed and thought this beer deserves the letter grade I gave it.